Articles by Xyroh

Articles by Xyroh – an Indie mobile app and software developer based in the North East UK

Some thoughts on this weeks Apple Developer conference – WWDC 2020

Today sees the conclusion of the annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (aka WWDC 2020), and I just wanted to offer a few thoughts and highlights as to what’s been announced, what we can expect, and what it means to me and my clients.

First off it was a highly polished and professional keynote, as you would expect from Apple, but more so considering much of the events charm is in the atmosphere of a full auditorium of developers, something not possible this year for obvious reasons.

Wwdc 2020 mr logo

Apple Mac and the move to ARM

The big announcement, and worst kept secret, was that going forward new Apple Mac products (iMac, MacBook, Mac Pro etc) will be running Apple Silicone (ARM based processors – like the iPhone and iPad), a move away from the current Intel (x86 – like most Windows PC’s and Laptops use) chips. At a technical level this is massive for developers, but Apple have made as easy a pathway as possible, where it does become interesting though as this means there will be the ability for iPhone apps to run, out of the box on new Apple hardware. This means there will be a lot more apps available for the Mac instantly, but also a dilemma for developers and clients considering a Mac presence, to you optimise the Mac app as you have always done before, or make do with your iPhone app working on the Mac even if the experience is not idea?

Mac OS Big Sur as it’s named got a visual overall too, looking very similar to the iPad it has to be said – time will tell on that one I think

Control center big sur 610x610

iPhone and iPad

Even though technically iOS and iPad OS are separate things now, I’ll tag them together under the iOS 14 banner. I’m already running this in Beta, and so far it looks very pretty, stable, and a decent step forward, highlights include;

– Widgets on the home screens
– Upgraded Messages app (Pinned conversations, mentions etc)
– Offline translation
– App clips – Mini apps you don’t have to install / login and just use once, eg car parking apps
– Improved privacy notifications in Safari
– Scribbles – Handwriting recognition from the Apple Pencil to enter small amounts of text / search etc

Screenshot 2020 06 26 at 11 22 56

Apple Watch

No real headline grabbers here, Watch OS 7 is just everything a little bigger and better than before, new workouts, watch faces, emoji (of course!), sleep tracking, and make sure you wash your hands properly!

Screenshot 2020 06 26 at 11 27 28

Overall there’s a lot to work through, for many it’s, just an iterative year, for developers a little more exciting, but if you’d like to know more about Apple, WWDC 2020, or you are considering getting an App developed for any of the Apple platforms then I’d love to hear from you.

About me

Andy Flisher is a Mobile App Developer based in the North East of England with over 20 years software development experience. He is available for hire and specialises in cross platform mobile app development, web applications, desktop software, bespoke cloud architecture solutions and providing outsourced project management services.

Project Updates for 12/06/2020

All about the infrastructure this week, deployed a new application server and backend database into the Azure cluster we designed and managed for them, redundancy and global performance the goals 🌎
Also found time to integrate a clients website framework with a WordPress backend as a CMS 📝, and pushed a release to XyrohLib to integrate with Freshdesk 🆘

XyrohLib 1.1 has been released

XyrohLib Version 1.1 has been released, the changelog is below, if you’d like to contribute to the project then head over to Github – https://github.com/Xyroh/…

[1.1.0] – 2020-06-11

Added

  • Enabled Manual Crash Reporting to AppCenter #18
  • Added Sentry Breadcrumbs Support #16
  • Added Freshdesk Ticket creation with attachments and tags #21 #20

Fixed

  • Fixed ability to create multiple Freshdesk tickets in one session

Project Updates for 29/05

Much of this week has been spent knee deep in WebRTC and it’s specs, recreating core Zoom functionality for a specific environment is complicated! 🎥
Found time to start a quick personal (Open Source) project inspired by another though so watch this space 🤖
Oh, and mostly caught up with the accounts 🥱🧮

How to fix the ‘This app is no longer shared with you’ error

There seems to be a surge of people reporting the ‘This app is no longer shared with you’ message when they open apps on iOS devices. Not sure why, our suspicion is that it’s a server side bug in and around family sharing, but that’s not confirmed.

Deleting the app and reinstalling will work, but you will potentially lose any data that’s stored locally, so our recommendation is to ‘offloads the app. This was introduced as a means to save space on your device by temporarily removing apps that you rarely use, but not losing any data or settings.

So whilst it’s a pain you can offload the app and then immediately restore it to fix this bug, full instructions are over at https://www.idownloadblog…

If this helped you fix the ‘This app is no longer shared with you’ error on your iPhone then would appreciate the share, if you have any other updates or solutions then please hit up the comments and we’ll update the article.

Microsoft’s new cross platform software framework – What does it mean to your business?

Yesterday at the Microsoft Build conference they announced MAUI, the roadmap to their new cross platform software, single codebase framework, quoting from their release;

Introducing .NET Multi-platform App UI:

As we consider what building device applications will look like in a unified .NET, we see many devices across multiple platforms used, from Android and iOS to Windows and macOS. To address this need we are excited to announce a new first-class UI framework for doing just that: .NET Multi-platform App UI, affectionately call .NET MAUI.

This means a lot to us as developers, but what does it mean to you as business owners, decision makers, and end users? To your business?

App languages – how they differ

All computer software (apps are just software applications, all the same really) is traditionally designed to run on it’s intended platform, the Web, Windows PC, Apple Mac, iPhone, Android etc – an app written for one platform will traditionally be written in the language that platform expects, all these platforms have different native languages, ie an app written for one won’t work on another.

In layman’s terms, if you learn French it will stand you in great stead on a holiday to France, but pop next door to Spain and you’re stuck. Unless you learn Spanish too, but that’s twice as much work.

 

Maui 01 overview 1536x864

Multiple App Platforms

Which is where us developers come in, most developers speak more than one language, but certainly not all, and in the past you had to be careful that the language choice the developer was making for your project was because it was the right one for your needs.   Not because it was the one they knew. But as IT expanded, people started using their own devices, and mobile computing became the norm it stopped being about which platform – Mac vs PC if you will, but which platforms – plural.

So if you ask a developer to create you a mobile app you are probably targeting iPhone and Android, two platforms, two languages (Objective C or Swift, and Java in case you were wondering!) – so that’s actually two apps you need, twice the work, twice the support, twice the cost!!! If only there were some (good – there are bad ways, we don’t do them) way of creating good, native, performant apps on both platforms, from one codebase, one product to support, and only one to pay for – cheaper is better right?

How can Xyroh help?

Well for most cases there is, it’s niche, here at Xyroh we do it, and have spent a lot of time and resources investing in these skills, the platform we use is Xamarin from Microsoft, and in *most* cases, certainly B2B projects it’s perfect – outputting great, custom mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone – Tizen even – at good value to your business.

Mobile App Development Native App vs Web App vs Hybrid App

Well that’s what this announcement was about, the next stage. Microsoft’s new MAUI framework will allow us to create line of business apps that run on;

– Android
– iOS (iPhone and iPad)
– Mac OS
– Windows

All from one project, one codebase, one cost – but much more value. So if you have a need for apps, be it a mobile app, a desktop app, or even a web app in your business then we’d love to talk to you.

Related Articles:

Native App, Hybrid App, or somewhere in between?
Xamarin Cross Platform Application Development – Book Review

Andy, the founder of Xyroh, is a mobile app developer, specialising in cross platform mobile apps, iphone apps, android apps, as well as web applications and desktop software for business clients across the North East – feel free to contact him to engage his services

New ‘Worst’ Apps additions, or the lack of the them 😬

We started the ‘Worst’ Apps when we released the ‘Worst’ Server Monitor the idea was to release a range of small, simple, functional utilities – based on the premise of Unix command line utilities that have one, single, primary function and that’s it.

Why? Well it’s good to practise your craft, this world moves fast with lots of key app functions so having ‘done it’ already is huge, also it’s good marketing to show what you can do. So we came up with the idea of the ‘Worst’ range (a play on the simplicity of the UI and the logos, the apps are solid, honest) – except to have a range you need more than one, and we don’t yet 😬. The good news is that’s down to you, we’ve been busy on client projects, and a few of the ‘Worst’ range have grown legs and become stand alone products in the back ground and in progress – so things are hapenning, just slowly.

I the mean time, though we’d share a few of the app icon ideas we came up with, see if you can guess what the app was for, and if you’re crying out for one then let us know, we’ll see if we can bump the priority.

 

 

Andy, the founder of Xyroh, is a mobile app developer, specialising in cross platform mobile apps, iphone apps, android apps, as well as web applications and desktop software for business clients across the North East – feel free to contact him to engage his services

Project updates for 15/05

So much for more free time ⏳, a whirlwind this week;
– New Opportunity for a Moto X track booking app 📱
– Researching the infrastructure behind a remote video app for Askaris 🔬
– Scratched a few itches around old school game development, reminiscing after reading the behind the scenes of book by Jordan Mechner 📖
– Oh, and all the normal updates, fixes, panics and research

Service Engineers Reminders Software Case Study

Prior to Xyroh, Andy was the founder of dotUK (A software development firm based out of Yarm and Stockton on Tees here in the North East),  again specialising as a developer in mobile apps, web applications and desktop software for a number of business clients – this is one of those portfolio case studies for windows based resource planning app

Desktop Software

Desktop Software, or desktop applications are the built in or installed apps available to you on your desktop / laptop computer of choice, for many this is a Windows based PC, but it could be an Apple Mac or a variant of Linux.  We can develop desktop software for all of those platforms, often a cross platform application that can operate across all three.  This case study is for a windows based desktop software application, operating in a client / server environment ie multiple desktop users puplling data from the central database server.

Project Summary

The Service Engineers Reminder Software is a simple, single user, windows desktop app that helps tradesmen keep track of scheduled work, services, safety checks etc

Sometimes the simplest solutions are best,  this service reminder app, which has been commissioned by a local heating engineer, will start life as a single user, stand alone, windows desktop application. However it is easily scalable into a multi user networked environment (with little to no infrastructure costs) and even options to sync / backup data through cloud services to make a multi user, multi site product.

The core functionality is to record when clients have products, services, or schedules that are due for renewal and offer a range of reminder options. As an example landlords are required to have annual gas safety checks which is a service the client offers. This app will allow this to be recorded, and when comes due the option to remind via email, text message, or generate a mail merge document that allows letters to be sent out in the post.

As always the focus is on specific functionality, ease of use, and value.

Desktop Software for Resource Planning Case Study – RetroFlo

Prior to Xyroh, Andy was the founder of dotUK (A software development firm based out of Yarm and Stockton on Tees here in the North East),  again specialising as a developer in mobile apps, web applications and desktop software for a number of business clients – this is one of those portfolio case studies for windows based resource planning app

Desktop Software

Desktop Software, or desktop applciations are the built in or installed apps available to you on your desktop / laptop computer of choice, for many this is a Windows based PC, but it could be an Apple Mac or a variant of Linux.  We can develop desktop software for all of those platforms, often a cross platform application that can operate across all three.  This case study is for a windows based desktop software application, operating in a client / server environment ie multiple desktop users puplling data from the central database server.

Project Summary

This project was to create a Windows Based Resource Planning Application, allowing businesses to see at a glance upcoming resource availability and holiday allocations

This was the second of our recent commissions for bespoke windows desktop software, and was for an electrical contractor based here in the North East. The challenge to overcome here is the ability to see clearly, quickly the spread of human resources in upcoming months, both those engineers and fitters allocated to existing projects, and of course holiday time when resource is unavailable.

 

Beskpoke Desktop Software application

Our bespoke solution will record the allocation of staff resources to projects, and allow the categorisation of the labour types. It will also record upcoming staff holidays, with this combination of data managers will be able to scroll to a specific timeline and view, filtering down if need be, the allocation of resources and ability to schedule in, or not, additional work based on the still free resource.

This project is the precursor to a bigger solution, but allows us to focus on and solve immediate business problems for the client in a cost effective and timely manner